The Healthy Brain Showcase featured talks and discussion on healthy ageing and memory, in addition to dance performances and crafting.
The event was part of the Ageing Better with an Active Mind research project which aims to encourage healthy ageing in Lancashire and Merseyside, where the elderly population with dementia is higher than the national average.
Dr Dorothy Tse, senior lecturer in psychology and principal investigator, said: “This event was a great opportunity to engage with the whole community, to improve people’s understanding of healthy ageing, promote a better understanding of brain health and raise awareness of key actions to reduce the risk of dementia.”
The co-principal investigator Dr Nicola van Rijsbergen added: “Ultimately we want to inspire behaviour change within communities across Lancashire and Merseyside and show people how they can take positive steps to improve their brain health.”
At the workshop the team presented and discussed the findings of a consultation with u3a members which explored themes of memory and dementia, how physical activity benefits the brain, neuroscience, brain health and the active mind.
u3a member Alan Buckley said: “Dementia affects so many people but it is so complex, so to have better awareness of the disease and how it can affect you is really useful in understanding how we can reduce its effects. We have to do something about it at an early stage instead of letting it progress.”
Fellow member Sue Buckley added: “It was interesting to focus on something which is already close to our hearts, I was absolutely amazed to find the link between physical activity and mental activity.”
Attendees described the Healthy Brain showcase as “a fabulous day”, “interesting and entertaining”, “an excellent event for the local community”, “well organised and presented”, and said “the speakers were all excellent”.
Speakers included Dr Jitka Vseteckova, senior lecturer in health and social care from The Open University, Dr Jade Thai, programme manager of neuroscience and mental health at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and Carol Rogers MBE, Director of House of Memories at National Museums Liverpool.
Organisations and charities also attended with stalls hosted by The Brain Charity, the Liverpool-based Women’s Health Information and Support Centre (WHISC), Age UK Lancashire and the National Museums Liverpool initiative House of Memories.
There were dance performances by u3a members, Edge Hill’s James Hewison with the Hard-Wired project, 50 Moves, Men Dancing and Base Dance Performing Arts, and the University’s Confucius Institute led crafts such as calligraphy and Chinese paper cutting.
The research project showcase is funded by Edge Hill’s Institute for Social Responsibility and the Department of Psychology.
February 9, 2023